Revolutionary Road (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner28/01/2009

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 119 mins

Beautifully shot, superbly written drama that exerts a powerful emotional grip and features terrific performances from a reunited Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.

What's it all about?
Directed by Sam Mendes and based on the acclaimed novel by Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road reunites Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet to play Frank and April Wheeler, a suburban couple in 1950s Connecticut, whose marriage is in trouble. Flashbacks reveal that Frank and April married after a whirlwind romance, their shared hopes and dreams swiftly replaced by the stultifying suburban life (including a house, two kids and a routine city job for Frank) they had always professed to despise.

After a vicious argument with April, Frank seeks solace in the arms of Maureen, a young secretary at work (Zoe Kazan). However, when April suggests that they start all over again and move to Paris, their relationship is briefly rejuvenated by the idea, even though it shocks their friends and neighbours (David Harbour and Kathryn Hahn as Shep and Milly).

The Good
DiCaprio and Winslet are terrific in the lead roles and their chemistry from Titanic is still very much intact, but it's as if it has been poisoned in the interim – their argument scenes are genuinely painful to watch. Winslet, in particular, is breathtakingly good, ensuring that we remain darkly fascinated by April, even as we realise that she is essentially unknowable.

There's also wonderful support from Michael Shannon as the outspoken, mentally ill son of Frank and April's busybody landlady (Kathy Bates on top form), while Kazan makes a memorable impression as Maureen.

The Great
In addition, the film looks gorgeous throughout, courtesy of Roger Deakins' stunning cinematography and some impressive production design (the film frequently resembles an extended episode of TV's brilliant Mad Men), while Thomas Newman provides an emotive score that subtly echoes Mendes other excoriation of suburbia, American Beauty.

Worth seeing?
Revolutionary Road is an extremely faithful adaptation of Yates' utterly brilliant novel, with strong direction, a great script and two terrific central performances. It's also one of the best films of the year. Highly recommended.
Revolutionary Road London Premiere

Film Trailer

Revolutionary Road (15)
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Content updated: 22/10/2017 14:31

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